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01.12.2014 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

Molecular Autism 1/2014

Default mode network in young male adults with autism spectrum disorder: relationship with autism spectrum traits

Zeitschrift:
Molecular Autism > Ausgabe 1/2014
Autoren:
Minyoung Jung, Hirotaka Kosaka, Daisuke N Saito, Makoto Ishitobi, Tomoyo Morita, Keisuke Inohara, Mizuki Asano, Sumiyoshi Arai, Toshio Munesue, Akemi Tomoda, Yuji Wada, Norihiro Sadato, Hidehiko Okazawa, Tetsuya Iidaka
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​2040-2392-5-35) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

MJ was involved in conducting the experiment, analyzing and interpreting data, and drafting the article. HK was involved in recruiting the participants, diagnosing the participants with ASD, conducting the experiment, analyzing and interpreting data, and drafting the article. DNS, TM (fifth author), and KI were involved in recruiting the participants and conducting the experiment. MI was involved in recruiting the participants, interpreting data, and drafting the article. TM (eighth author) was involved in recruiting the participants and diagnosing the participants with ASD. MA, SA, AT, YW, NS, and HO were involved in interpreting the data. TI was involved in designing, analyzing and interpreting data, and drafting the article. All the authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Abstract

Background

Autism spectrum traits are postulated to lie on a continuum that extends between individuals with autism and individuals with typical development (TD). Social cognition properties that are deeply associated with autism spectrum traits have been linked to functional connectivity between regions within the brain’s default mode network (DMN). Previous studies have shown that the resting-state functional connectivities (rs-FCs) of DMN are low and show negative correlation with the level of autism spectrum traits in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, it is unclear whether individual differences of autism spectrum traits are associated with the strength of rs-FCs of DMN in participants including the general population.

Methods

Using the seed-based approach, we investigated the rs-FCs of DMN, particularly including the following two core regions of DMN: the anterior medial prefrontal cortex (aMPFC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) in 19 young male adults with high-functioning ASD (mean age = 25.3 ± 6.9 years; autism-spectrum quotient (AQ) = 33.4 ± 4.2; full scale IQ (F-IQ) = 109.7 ± 12.4) compared with 21 age- and IQ-matched young male adults from the TD group (mean age = 24.8 ± 4.3 years; AQ = 18.6 ± 5.7; F-IQ = 109.5 ± 8.7). We also analyzed the correlation between the strength of rs-FCs and autism spectrum traits measured using AQ score.

Results

The strengths of rs-FCs from core regions of DMN were significantly lower in ASD participants than TD participants. Under multiple regression analysis, the strengths of rs-FCs in brain areas from aMPFC seed showed negative correlation with AQ scores in ASD participants and TD participants.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that the strength of rs-FCs in DMN is associated with autism spectrum traits in the TD population as well as patients with ASD, supporting the continuum view. The rs-FCs of DMN may be useful biomarkers for the objective identification of autism spectrum traits, regardless of ASD diagnosis.
Zusatzmaterial
Authors’ original file for figure 1
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Authors’ original file for figure 2
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Authors’ original file for figure 3
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Authors’ original file for figure 4
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Authors’ original file for figure 5
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Literatur
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